HOUSTON — Three months out prison, rapper One80 already has the attention of LeAnn Rimes and Dr. Dre.
Fame is not his only goal. Neither is being rich. It is all about family and finding the one the rapper never had.
At 9 years old, Teren Avery felt his stepfather’s wrath.
“He used to hit me and not like the average hit,” Avery said. “(It was) like a grown man hitting a child.”
So Avery ran away, stole a car, hustled and in August of 2003, set fire to an abandoned house. Arson earned him 18 years in prison. Avery served most of it in TDCJ’s Estelle Unit in Huntsville.
There he changed and earned the nickname One80. Then, he picked up plastic spoons and tapped his way into unlikely connections with Rimes and Dr. Dre.
Avery’s beats covered by rap lyrics were recorded in prison. He had and still has fans there. Those with little to no chance of getting out taught Avery philosophy, how to play chess and encouraged him to fly straight once he made parole.
“I’m indebted to them because I would never learned about Confucius or Plato or Socretes,” he said.
Avery came out busy. In three months since his release, Avery helped produce a documentary on his life and has music for sale on Amazon.
Rimes heard his music and invited him to perform in with her at Gruene Hall in Austin.
“For me to be a rapper and be able to perform there, I’ve never seen that many cowboy hats in my life,” Avery said. “You know what, and for them to accept me, this is why I feel like music is so beautiful.”
Dr. Dre called him via FaceTime to talk business, too.
“I was like man, you are Dr. Dre,” Avery said. “This is crazy. This is beyond a dream come true.”
He is not sure where it leads next. One80 hopes a record deal follows. However, that’s not his dream. His heart only beats for family.
“That’s one of my biggest goals,” he said. “Even if I’m a stepfather, being a real good one. It’s a beautiful thing. I know I say that phrase a lot, but yeah, it’s beautiful.”
ALSO POPULAR ON KHOU.COM